Island waves come from far and arrive with a vengeance, infuriated by the land mass crouching in their mighty path. Unlike staid Atlantic rolls, they boom and hiss, wild with spume. I watch them crash, crash, crash, and I tremble at the fact that while they beat ceaselessly in the regenerating present, I spend my days preoccupied by past and future.
Here at the foot of the waves, geologic time overwhelms me. These forces neither know nor heed my human timestamp. In their world change comes with microscopic precision on an epic scale, while in my world change feels epic but with ultimately microscopic significance. Our scales collide in this moment on the sand. I cannot comprehend the crashing, and the ocean cannot comprehend my caring.
I ask the waves: Am I insignificant? Or is your wondrous, fearful machination intended for witness? Is my standing here with sandy feet and salty curls the reason for my being -- to see, to absorb, to gape with awe? And if that is the case, how does my individual wonder heighten these elements that continue with or without me?
I tell the waves: While I've been resting on this minuscule island, two friends have lost loved ones -- one a father, the other a son. What do these men's short lives, ripe with joy, rife with pain, mean against the unstoppable tides? Where is our significance in the face of tumultuous eons?
The waves rumble, but not in response. They have all the time in the world, yet no time for me. I am a blink, a speck in their teeming currents. I will always remember their breathtaking rush toward my bare feet, and they will never know I was here. They don't know my scope; they only put it in perspective.
I repeat to myself: I am here. I am here. I am here. I am. I am. I am. And so it is, if only for a breath.
Prayer #317: Undulate
Undo me, rushing God. Invest me with a wave's own form: simple to sketch in abstract, impossible to capture in infinite variations across time and space. As I fall with You, so I will rise -- soaked in mystery.